Monday, May 30, 2005

Dragged, Beaten, and Robbed, Part II

Check out this video of a 15 year-old being dragged off a Minneapolis Metro Transit Bus. The nine suspects are charged with beating and robbing him once he was off the bus. The victim reports that there were racial taunts from the suspects prior to the beatings.

The video confirms the outrageous behavior of the bus driver, who twice warned the suspects that they were on videotape, and then drove away. He might just as well have told them that their DNA would be on the corpse. That you have obtained evidence to later solve a crime does not absolve you of your duty to prevent a crime in progress, particularly when you are a public servant.

Another disturbing aspect of this episode is that the Star Tribune again insists on calling this a "fight." As I said earlier, Nine assailants dragging a 15 year-old boy off a bus in order to rob him does not qualify as a "fight." Please e-mail the reporter and the readers' representative and explain that this was a beating and a robbery, not a boxing match.


Readers' Representative:


Blogger Old Fox said...

There is no public servant duty to prevent or stop a crime progress. That is well-settled law. If there were such a duty no cop could ever operate under cover.

Certainly a bus driver does not even have the means to arrest or protect himself and his bus passengers from 9, possibly armed, criminals. Bus drivers are, I believe, unarmed. Hopefully the driver has a radio and can call it in to the real police who may or may not show up. He has a duty to run that bus route. What if another person on that bus were to be hurt becasue he tried to be heroic with a tire iron? Or if the bus were hijacked and several people hurt. The remark attacking the bus driver is, I think, unfounded in logic and in law.

July 20, 2005 11:37 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

How about a moral duty? Did you watch the video, "Old Fox"? The driver closed the door and drove off. Follow the links and get the whole story.

We will see whether or not there will be a civil suit. But it does not preclude or invalidate criticism of his actions.

Knowing that a teenager was dragged off his bus --and having the presence of mind to warn the criminals that they had been caught on tape -- he still drove off. This took away one means of escape for the boy. He obviously was not at his own stop. He had to run several blocks to a convenience store to call police.

If protecting the passengers was the driver's motive, why not close the doors, but remain at the stop? If the driver is concerned about (video) evidence of the crime, shouldn't he and the passengers remain at the scene to witness what happens next?

Is it his absolute duty to complete the bus route in a timely manner, no matter what?

On some level, the driver cared about stopping the crime. That's why he warned them that they were on videotape. But when they responded that they didn't care, he treated them as though they were mere vandals, or had skipped out on a fare. "Oh well, I guess I'll drive off." That's why I said that he might as well have said that their DNA would be on the corpse. A lot of good that does the victim while the beating is _in progress_.

Some of the problems were not of the driver's own making, like the transit police dispatch issues. But his difficulty in reaching the police is all the more reason he shouldn't have driven off.

You are free to disagree with me over what the driver and passengers should have done. However, it is interesting that your anger upon reading this story is directed at me. Many readers have found other targets for blame. Maybe their opinons are similarly "unfounded in logic and in law."

July 21, 2005 12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, listening to the bus driver's intonation, I got the impression that he was telling the perps about being on camera so they'd move the kid into an alley or something.

July 25, 2005 10:01 PM  
Blogger michael said...

What was the outcome? I understood that all nine were arrested. Was the driver fired for poor judgement? This was a "hate crime".
What happened to the nine thugs.

December 07, 2005 7:01 AM  
Blogger michael said...

What happened to the nine criminals? I understood they were all arrested. What was the final outcome. Knowing the mentality of the the Twin Cities, I would bet they were labeled "intolerant" and a threat was made to tell their mothers. If the situation was reversed, and the victim was black and the criminals were white; you would all have labeled this a hate crime and demanded justice.

December 07, 2005 7:08 AM  
Blogger lynne said...

What happened was absolutely hideous. The bus driver should be removed from duty. His attitude was repulsive, as if he was telling the thugs to watch out for the camera. If he would have radioed for help, that would have made a difference.

"If the situation was reversed, and the victim was black and the criminals were white; you would all have labeled this a hate crime and demanded justice."

The history of this country includes all levels of violence against people of color by white people. Think about it. I am not saying that this is a reason for attacking white people but think about this.

These thugs are bred from this history, including poverty and oppression.

I am definitely not condoning what they did, but don't say that it would have been something different if the races were reversed. Across the country there are scores of examples: Amadou Diallo, Rodney King, Louima,many more too numerous too mention.

Look at the history of this country. Because of this country's continued oppressiveness, you have home-grown thugs and bullies.

February 23, 2006 5:38 PM  

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